ANDREI AKULOV – US Congress to Undermine INF Treaty and Entire Existing Arms Control Architecture

The House and Senate are currently considering defense authorization legislation which, if passed into law, would start dismantling some of the bedrock agreements of US-Russian arms control – the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), as well as longstanding US–Russia arms control efforts. The treaty eliminated all ground-based nuclear and conventional missiles, as well as their launchers, with ranges of 500–1,000 kilometers (310–620 mi) (short-range) and 1,000–5,500 km (620–3,420 mi) (intermediate-range). Signed in December 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the INF deal is accredited with significantly reducing the threat of nuclear confrontation and accelerating the end of the Cold War.